Blue potato blinis topped with crème fraîche, smoked salmon and chives
When I serve a wine like Pewley Down for pre-dinner drinks, I always like to have something special to go with it. Crisps and other packaged snacks are banned in favour of something more complementary. I think that if you are going to serve a great wine, give it a suitably enticing partner. The base for the blinis can be made in advance and then just pan-fried quickly before assembling and serving. Perfect for the impending festive period too! Ingredients
For the blinis
500g blue potatoes (use regular or orange sweet potatoes if these are not available), cooked and roughly mashed
One large free-range egg
25g cornmeal or instant polenta (plain flour can also be used here) plus extra for shaping
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two green salad onions, finely chopped (optional)
One to two dessertspoons of oil for fryingFor the topping
One 250g tub of crème fraîche
One pack of smoked salmon or gravadlax
One lemon, halved
Some finely chopped fresh chivesMethod
• Mix the mashed potatoes and stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and chill until required. This is better made in advance as the moisture in the potatoes will bind with the cornmeal and then they won’t fall apart when cooked.
• Use a teaspoon to portion up the blinis. Shape into small bite-size rounds by dipping them into cornmeal, rolling into a ball and pressing flat on a clean work surface or board. Chill until required.
• Heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add enough blinis to cover the pan. Cook for three to four minutes on each side until golden, then place on a plate with a sheet of paper towel to soak up any oil. Repeat until all are cooked. Two to three per person should be enough to serve with pre-dinner drinks.
• Place the blinis on a serving dish and spoon each with a small dollop of crème fraîche. Top each with a folded strip of salmon. Sprinkle with chives and a little squeeze of lemon and serve. I garnish mine with some very finely sliced cucumber and a sprinkle of black salt, or perhaps a grind of black pepper.
• Serve immediately.